I’ve followed Raina Simone since her viral freestyles. She is, in a word, amazing with her bars. When I heard she’s dropping an official debut album, I (internally, as I’m at my vanilla job) screamed “LFG!!!” The first song from Old Soul, New Conscience, “Swervin’,” keeps up Simone’s stellar wordplay and twisty entendres. Production-wise, she flows over a beat that sounds like something you would heard Lauryn Hill or Kendrick on. On top of all that, Raina had the time to partly self-produce the beat (Simone, Yak Beats and Deafhbeats all laid pieces together to bring this track and its lessons to life).
“Swervin'” is short but succinct. I say that because I usually don’t post songs under two-and-a-half minutes–unless they speak to me. This one spoke to me, loudly. I didn’t feel cheated (or like I needed to tell Raina to “give me more on this track”). That’s because in this two-minute song, there are more references, philosophical questions and observations than some songs have at five minutes.
That’s the beauty of Raina Simone’s lyricism. There’s no denying she’s got bars. With that in mind, they’re sometimes otherworldly as they’re so damn layered. Honestly? You’ll probably need to run the track back a few times to fully capture what she’s getting at. And no, she’s not pretentious with her lessons or values. Instead, she opts to just speak her mind, let the bars go and try to impact this generation and the next.
You know what’s coming, though. This one definitely fits the SOTB mantra and it should be enjoyed by all who frequent the site. Check it out below, be on the lookout for Raina’s debut album and support dope music in all its forms.